Final Edits

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
User avatar
danielhay11
Posts: 230
Joined: Wed Oct 26, 2011 8:32 pm

Final Edits

Postby danielhay11 » Tue Nov 01, 2011 11:06 am

Deleted, thanks for the feedback
Last edited by danielhay11 on Thu Nov 10, 2011 9:55 am, edited 1 time in total.

CanadianWolf
Posts: 10439
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 4:54 pm

Re: Final Edits

Postby CanadianWolf » Tue Nov 01, 2011 11:16 am

I assume that you are applying to Michigan.

The last sentence of the fifth paragraph contains questionable reasoning & suggests that you are young & not a parent. Otherwise this is a well done essay that was unnecessary beyond your first mention of TFA experience.

In addition to Michigan, consider Northwestern. Vanderbilt could be an interesting match if they offer or allow classes in conjunction with Peabody.

User avatar
danielhay11
Posts: 230
Joined: Wed Oct 26, 2011 8:32 pm

Re: Final Edits

Postby danielhay11 » Tue Nov 01, 2011 11:34 am

CanadianWolf wrote:The last sentence of the fifth paragraph contains questionable reasoning & suggests that you are young & not a parent. Otherwise this is a well done essay that was unnecessary beyond your first mention of TFA experience.


Could you expand on this? I'm not disagreeing, just want to make sure I understand where the argument weakens.

Thanks for the helpful feedback. I am applying across the T14, but also to Vandy as well precisely because of Peabody.

CanadianWolf
Posts: 10439
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 4:54 pm

Re: Final Edits

Postby CanadianWolf » Tue Nov 01, 2011 11:44 am

Everything in that sentence is incorrect based on my experience & knowledge. For example, if you think that an excellent education is just for the privileged few in America, then why are colleges & law schools growing in enrollment when the upper middle class & middle class folks are moving downward ? Additionally, parents risk criminal charges or losing their children to foster care if the children do not attend school. State university honors colleges/programs are prevalent & higher education opportunities for the poor (including both legal & illegal immigrants ) are arguably the best in the world in the US. And families are largely to blame, & to be given credit for, their children's academic performance.
Whether or not you agree with my views is not relevant as that sentence is reasoned so poorly that you lose credibility by making those unsupported assertions. If your experience was with Teach For China instead of Teach For America, then your points might make sense.

P.S. The stronger, and more accurate, assertion is that we are over-educating American children. Many advocate teaching more practical skills & lessening theoretical education.

User avatar
danielhay11
Posts: 230
Joined: Wed Oct 26, 2011 8:32 pm

Re: Final Edits

Postby danielhay11 » Tue Nov 01, 2011 12:18 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:Everything in that sentence is incorrect based on my experience & knowledge. For example, if you think that an excellent education is just for the privileged few in America, then why are colleges & law schools growing in enrollment when the upper middle class & middle class folks are moving downward ? State university honors colleges/programs are prevalent & higher education opportunities for the poor (including both legal & illegal immigrants ) are arguably the best in the world in the US. And families are largely to blame, & to be given credit for, their children's academic performance.
Whether or not you agree with my views is not relevant as that sentence is reasoned so poorly that you lose credibility with those unsupported assertions.


Thanks for sharing your view. I miscounted paras and thought you were referring to the last sentence of the essay.

I would say a few things to your points:
-The majority of students do get an excellent education. But the line between a great education and a bad education is too often drawn along class lines, and this is well-documented.
-The United States has fallen behind other developed nations in just about every education metric: test scores, graduation rates, teacher quality, school safety, and educational equity.
-College enrollment is up, but college readiness has been on a steady decline. California, for example, probably has the most clearly defined college entrance requirements. In the UC system, something like 40-50% of students have to take remedial writing or math classes (this is from memory - could be wrong), even as more and more students are enrolling in those schools.
-Re families, you can't discount familial factors. But that also cannot excuse away a student's failures. A lot of people deserve blame (and credit) for whether or not a child is successful: families, schools, teachers, community institutions, role models, and, of course, the student.

But that doesn't really matter since the purpose of this thread is not to debate ed policy but rather to make my essay stronger, and I would agree that my conclusion is perhaps too strong given the evidence presented. I will rework it so that my assertions flow clearly from the text of my essay. Thank you for your feedback.

2xHarvard
Posts: 51
Joined: Sat Oct 22, 2011 7:06 pm

Re: Final Edits

Postby 2xHarvard » Tue Nov 01, 2011 12:37 pm

Could you ease the shift between the bulk of the essay (about your teaching experience) and the last paragraph (explicitly stating your motivation for going to law school)? You may risk sounding as though you tacked on the last paragraph. Condensing your anecdote would leave you room for a smoother and gentler transition, one that alerts readers to your policy-based thinking earlier in the essay.

Very interesting overall and it certainly displays many admirable qualities in the applicant!!

CanadianWolf
Posts: 10439
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 4:54 pm

Re: Final Edits

Postby CanadianWolf » Tue Nov 01, 2011 1:33 pm

OP: Unfortunately, I think that you have knowledge of facts, but misunderstand the causes. Regardless, there is no support for your assertions in the essay.
The final sentence of the fifth paragraph may cause some readers to question your readiness for law school--although TFA applicants tend to be valued highly.
Also, what is the purpose of TFA if not to enhance educational opportunities for those in bad neighborhoods from poor families & without a strong family structure that values education ?

P.S. Immigrants flock to America primarily for educational & economic opportunities.

User avatar
danielhay11
Posts: 230
Joined: Wed Oct 26, 2011 8:32 pm

Re: Final Edits

Postby danielhay11 » Tue Nov 01, 2011 2:33 pm

2xHarvard wrote:Could you ease the shift between the bulk of the essay (about your teaching experience) and the last paragraph (explicitly stating your motivation for going to law school)? You may risk sounding as though you tacked on the last paragraph. Condensing your anecdote would leave you room for a smoother and gentler transition, one that alerts readers to your policy-based thinking earlier in the essay.


Good advice, thanks. Making the last part sound organic has been my biggest struggle so far.

2xHarvard
Posts: 51
Joined: Sat Oct 22, 2011 7:06 pm

Re: Final Edits

Postby 2xHarvard » Tue Nov 01, 2011 2:48 pm

Some ways could include focusing on your desire to develop and extend skills you exercised while teaching or touching upon what policy / societal considerations led you into TFA in the first place. If you frontload your think tank and legislative experience - not in the first para, but toward the top - then the last para will sound more organic. Wonder whether (what could be perceived as) a narrow focus on one substantive area of the law will endear you to admissions folk, and thus my recommendation re skills.

kublaikahn
Posts: 647
Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2011 12:47 am

Re: Final Edits

Postby kublaikahn » Tue Nov 01, 2011 11:27 pm

.




Return to “Law School Personal Statements”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.